This study tested the effects of an online dater's profile type (open/free-spirited vs. traditional/uptight) on people's perception of the dater's trustworthiness, interpersonal attraction, and Big Five personality traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion). Interpersonal deception theory, theories of attraction, and source credibility model inform this research, providing a theoretical foundation for the proposed research questions and hypothesis. This research employed a simple two-group comparison experiment (open/free-spirited dater profile vs. traditional/uptight dater profile). Participants were randomly assigned to view either open or traditional profiles, and asked about their perception of the target dater. Results indicated a significant causal effect of user-generated online dater profile types on the dependent variables (perceived trustworthiness, interpersonal attraction, and Big Five personality traits) as well as a significant mediating effect of perceived trustworthiness. This study provided unique and necessary information on self-presentation and other perception in the online dating context, with the aim of helping theorists, online daters, and managers of online dating sites further their understandings of this novel and exciting romantic frontier.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Science Applications